Review: Cowboy Studio Shoulder Rig Part 2

**6/23/2011 Update:  Part 3 with Zacuto EVF now posted!

Follow-up to my previous blog post, “Review: Cowboy Studio Shoulder Rig“.  This time showing a new piece to the shoulder rig, the “Rig X“. I am located in San Antonio, TX, if you are in the Central Texas area and would like a demo, just let me know! 

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Parts List:
Cowboy Studio Shoulder Support Rig-X (includes rail system, offset adapter, and (1) HD Handle)
Sescom 3.5mm Line to Mic with 25dB Attenuator for Zoom H4N/H1 with Headphone Monitoring Jack

**Cool Fact** A variant of the Cowboy Studio Rig was used by Gareth Edwards in his low-budget hit, “Monsters”. Check out this VIDEO of it in action.

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video shot by:  Ismael Rodriguez

**UPDATE 3/18/2011

I have received a lot of questions regarding attaching monitors and handles.  Here is a quick photo with both of these items.  7″ Lilliput monitor attached with Articulating Arm from  Also 10″ HD Carry Handle added, also from  I will putting together a Part 3 video soon and go over how each of these items, and a couple other things, work with the CBS Rig.

One response on “Review: Cowboy Studio Shoulder Rig Part 2

  1. Fabio says:

    Hey man,

    really loved the Rig ;)

    Do you know a website where i can get the parts in europe?

    tnks and keep it going.

  2. Rod says:

    Hi Fabio,
    Thanks for the compliment, I am really liking it! Unfortunetly I do not know of any vendors in Europe, however, email Chris at and he may be able to work with you.

    Good Luck,

  3. Fabio says:

    Thnks for the reply Rod,

    Nice to know that it doesn’t look just good, but also work well.

    Keep us updated ;) cheers

  4. Reggie says:

    Looks like Express35 packaged everything up already as their “Rig X” (less the shoulder support):

  5. Josh says:

    That doesn’t include the focus system though right.

  6. Rod says:


    You are correct, it does not include the Follow Focus system from D|Focus. I talk about it in this short REVIEW.

  7. Alan says:

    Awesome to see this thing take shape from when I first saw it!

  8. Rod says:

    Thanks Alan! Yeah it has been a process, purchasing each piece as I had the funds. But I think it’s finally where I want it and I am extremely pleased with the outcome.

  9. Josue says:

    Thanks for the review. Just got my self the shoulder rig and a viewfinder. Will look into getting the rail system, handle, and offset adapter next pay check lol.

    Awesome vid.

  10. Rod says:

    Welcome for the review, I hope it works out for you!

  11. Mike says:

    Hey Rod, amazing stuff! Very clever and I am stoked on the price. I am waiting on my rails from express and in the near future a D Follow Focus. But will I be able to use my 7D with a battery grip on this rig?

  12. Scott says:

    Awesome. You have answered so many question that I had about shoulder supports. I can’t say thank you enough. I just have a couple more questions about other items like adding a monitor and using different follow focus with your setup. Can I add a monitor and any follow focus will be compatible?
    Again thanks for your blog.


  13. Josue says:

    Got my self the rail system and the offset adapter. Any new gadgets you have found?

    How are you do to add a monitor?

    Would counter weight be needed in this cowboy should rig?

  14. Sam says:


    what are you using to hold your H1?

  15. Rod says:

    @Josue – I did get a couple new things, first up is the 10″ HD Carry Handle. Essential for low angle shots. Also, I have added a 7″ Lilliput monitor attached to the rig with an Articulating Arm.

    To answer you last question, nope, I have not found ANY need to add any counterweight.

    Hope this helps and hope the rig works out for you. -Rod

  16. Rod says:

    @Scott – Yup, I believe you can. Be on the lookout for a new video from me showing a monitor attached.

  17. Rod says:

    @Mike – Thanks for stopping by! Yup, 7D with battery grip will not be a problem. However, if you are going to use the battery grip with the follow focus, depending on the lens, you may have to purchase the D|Mount separately to get it up higher.

  18. pao says:

    Hey Rod, what did you use to connect the offset to your cowboy studio?

  19. Chris says:

    Hey Rod. Express35 doesn’t have anymore of the offset adapters, have you or anyone else seen any alternatives around?

  20. Sean Connery Smith says:

    Express 35 is out of stock of the rig x adapters.. i guess its hard to get those also.. Yeah I am on the newsletter. thats the hard to find part.

  21. Rod says:

    Sorry Chris, I have not found any other company making anything close to these. Which is weird, especially after seeing the response this type of rig is getting.

  22. Rod says:

    @Pao – It screws directly to the shoulder support.

  23. toph says: has this DSLR baseplate:

    With that said, was gonna order it but a guy who reviewed it said it wobbles(?)

    Dunno what to do, need a rail system by May 15th.

    Any other company out there selling a somewhat decent rail system w/ base/cheeseplate and perhaps an offset adapter all mounted and ready to ship?

  24. Josue says:

    Hey Rod! any new upgrades with the cowboy rig?

  25. Rod says:

    yo yo video shot with the Cowboy Studio Shoulder Rig!

  26. Joshua says:

    Hey man, just wondering if there is a handle available for underneath just the support without attaching a rig?

  27. Rod says:

    Hi Joshua, I have not found a handle yet that will go under just the support. Has anyone else had any success with a DIY solution?

  28. Paul says:


    This whole setup is genius and is going to save me and my team a ton of money. Thank you so much for all the info, I went from thinking I was going to have to spend $1000 to now only needing to spend $500 or so. You are a godsend my friend.

    The only question I have is a newbie one. You mentioned to Josue that the reason for the 10″ HD Carry Handle that you added to the external LCD mount setup was that it was essential for low angle shots. Is there any other reason to get one? We will be doing a lot of in studio work that requires the LCD display, but I am trying to figure out if we even need the handle that you added for any future shots. Any thoughts you may have would be greatly appreciated.

  29. Gabriel says:


    So i have the cowboy shoulder rig, rail support with a 2 stop fallow focus standard 15mm rods and a matte box, do i only need the offset adopter to get this set up?? can you please post the direct link, i tried fallowing some of the links you shared with others but the page i got showed a complete rig for hundreds of dollars.

    thanks and btw love your videos

  30. Rod says:

    Hi Gabriel! Thanks for the question. I believe this is what you are looking for:

  31. Gabriel says:

    thank you very much for the help, this is a great set up, cant wait to get my hands on this

  32. Matthew says:

    Hey Rod, is it possible for you to create a full list with links to your setup?

  33. Gabriel says:

    Hey guys, i found similar pieces to make an offset as well as add arms with hand grips like in the video and all via ebay,

    The cowboy shoulder rig is a very promising invention, i have two of them now and i can even attach two together so they balance out on my shoulder so i dont accumulate pain in i shoot for hours,

    i also found other rigs with a double shoulder support tehse are tacky,
    or this

    but over in numeriphot in france they have several new double shoulder pad models with the same type of shoulder pieces like the cowboy rig, then way nicer rails etc, samme idea though

  34. Tommy says:

    Just buy a battery pack for your camera and it will be tall enough. I didn’t even have to buy the offset kit.

  35. E says:

    I’d like to combine the Polaroid chest stabilizer rig with the Cowboy Studio shoulder rig… I’d like to know what those rectangles are called connecting the thread plates and what else I might need (i.e. rods etc.) to achieve this. I’m a noob to rig customization and combed the comments, but couldn’t find the answer. Any help is greatly appreciated!

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